Reader reactions reflect the sentimental bond that has formed with ‘Our Tree’

The stately cottonwood west of Pelican Rapids on Highway 108 may be alone—but the tree definitely isn’t “lonely.”

Based on the public sentiment attached to “The Tree,” it’s the most beloved organism in the region. 

The tree has been a beacon, welcoming travelers to the lakes area for generations. Some call it “My Tree.” But of course, it is “everybody’s tree.” 

This picture of the tree taken by Dan Kramer during winter received an enthusiastic reaction on The Press Facebook page.

The Press encouraged readers to submit favorite photos of “The Tree.” Really, it was on a whim. We were expecting a few handfuls of submissions. Instead, we received nearly 100 images—fall, winter, spring, and summer. 

With all the sentimental attachments to the tree, we decided to compile as many as we could in the 2023 “Lakes and Lifestyles” magazine—which has been very well received. 

We’re still receiving images and comments about “The Tree” from readers. A couple of images are published, accompanying this column. 

Look for a free copy of the magazine, and the tribute to “The Tree” at area businesses and newsstands. 

This pencil drawing of “The Lonely Tree” of Highway 108 is by Pelican Rapids graduate Marlette (Smith) Young. Various drawings of Pelican scenes have been completed by Young, in preparation for Pelican’s Class of 1983 reunion, set during Pelican Fest in July. The drawings will be featured in a silent auction during the reunion, and 100 special Pelican Pete renditions have been printed for sale at the tourist information center.
Kadie Nelson sent this photo of “The Tree” through a sideview mirror.

We’re continuing to receive images and comments about “The Tree.” 

Sue Waasdorp: “That tree is so awesome.”

Craig Colman: “Let’s transplant a young one near it to provide company for the grand old tree.”

Adele Spidahl: “Love that tree!”

Debra Amundson: “Our tree!”